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EADS Announces VoltAir Electric Airline Concept

By Ben Coxworth
14:41 June 21, 2011
The VoltAir is a concept all-electric airliner, that could be flying within 25 years (Photo: Gizmag)

One of the displays that has generated a lot of buzz at the Paris Airshow 2011 is EADS’ ZEHST concept – a zero-emission hypersonic airliner, that could be whisking passengers from Tokyo to London in under 2.5 hours, by the year 2050. Sitting alongside the ZEHST model, however, is another EADS concept aimed at the more immediate future. It’s called VoltAir, and it’s a proposed all-electric airliner that could be flying within 25 years.

VoltAir’s two next-generation lithium-air batteries would power two highly efficient superconducting electric motors, which would in turn drive two co-axial, counter-rotating shrouded propellers at the rear of the aircraft. The motors would have a relatively easy go of it, as advanced carbon fiber composite airframe design, aerodynamics and low weight would make the airliner as easy to push through the air as possible. As is the case with most proposed and existing electric aircraft, it would also be very quiet.
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